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A Complete Guide to Storefront Signs

Investing in good storefront signs is vital for any business or establishment hoping to grow as they are the face of your business. Storefront signs are often the first point of contact between you and potential customers passing by and, when done right, can entice them to come in through your doors. They let potential customers know who you are, convey your brand message, and deliver key messages about your business, special events and promotions. When you consider the types of signage available and the variety of materials, designs, colours, and sizes, it can quickly become overwhelming trying to design a storefront sign that works for you.

Given that your signage could mean the difference between passersby visiting your business or not, you need to make some important decisions when choosing your storefront signs. This guide explores the various types of storefront signs available and the considerations you need to make so you can select the right option for your business.

Creating a Storefront Sign 101

Even if everything else is done right when setting up your store, if the storefront signs are not right, it may still be challenging to draw in customers. Here’s what to look out for.

Take Your Neighbourhood into Account

You need to check with your local administration and see if there are any rules or design guidelines that must be adhered to. Depending on the type and location of your business, your storefront signs may need to be a particular size or placed in a certain area.

Take Your Target Audience into Account

Once you know all the outdoor signage rules and guidelines in your location, you can start creating the actual signs. Start by thinking of your target audience. Do you want to appeal to the young shoppers or upscale crowd? Once you have a clear picture of your target audience, place yourself in their shoes. For example, if they are looking for chic clothing, a minimalist sign will work great. However, if you sell kid’s clothes, more colourful and fun signs will get their attention.

When Will Your Signage Be Seen?

Think about how and when your audience will see the signage. If it is mainly pedestrian traffic, you will want to position your storefront signs so that they are visible to passersby. You might opt for a sign that hangs perpendicular to the sidewalk next to your business so that it is in the line of sight of people walking past. If your target audience largely consists of people who will be driving, you will need a larger sign that is easily identifiable from a vehicle.

Striking a Balance Between Enormity and Visibility

You want to make sure that your prospective customers can easily see and read the sign. This means that the sign needs to be big enough for the company logo and name to be legible while at the same time not too big that it comes across as overbearing and unprofessional. If it is too big, you might also run into a few issues with other adjacent stores.

Also Read: Signage 101 – Why New Businesses Need Signs?

Complete Guide to Outdoor Storefront Signs

Below are some of the various types of outdoor signs and exterior signs available and how they can work for your business.

Backlit Signs

Backlit signs are comprised of a lightbox and a printed graphic, designed to enhance visibility as they are bright and stand out.

Storefront Signs

These include the different types of outdoor storefront signs like LED signs, projection signs, channel letter signs, and awnings.

Dynamic Digital Signs

These are advanced electronic signs that can display different advertisement messages on cue or based on real-time changes. They use large format screen displays such as LCD, LED, etc. and can be installed on any business. They are known to catch the eye and have a greater impact.

Post and Panel Signage

They often use panels fixed to posts, hence the name. Typically placed outdoors, they help guide customers and prospective customers to the relevant sections of the establishment, such as parking lots and reception. They can also be used to promote special sales events. With the right display size, design, and message, they are very effective.

Flag Signs & Graphics

These are durable and cost-effective signs that can be printed on both sides to increase visibility both near and far. The flags can be made with different materials, fonts, and colours to align with your brand message and objectives.

Street Signs

Also known as lawn or coroplast signs, these cost-effective and corrugated signs can be seen almost everywhere. They can be single or double-sided and are typically attached to a metal skate fixed to the ground.

Safety Signs

Customer and employee safety are key concerns for any establishment. Safety signs give businesses a way to guide, communicate with and reiterate health and safety rules and protocols (fire exits, slippery floor, etc.) to employees and customers. This includes COVID-19 reopening signs for social distancing and hand sanitizing.

Window Signage

Typically used to improve aesthetics, these can also be effective in displaying useful business information such as contact information, operating hours, services offered, running promotions and discounts. You can choose between different layouts, fonts and colour schemes depending on what works for you. Window signs can include 2D and 3D letter decals, full-pane window decals and graphic decals.

Push Through Signs

Push through signs are a great way to draw attention and get noticed. The aluminum or cabinet face is routed out and the acrylic pushed through the front. This distinctive design makes them easily noticeable and readable, particularly with illumination. It is an effective way to stand out.

Hanging Blade Signs

They are typically installed perpendicular to the storefront façade to increase visibility. Common in shopping plazas, but every business can benefit from hanging blade signs to catch the attention of passersby and promote products and services.

Storefront Awnings (Fabric)

Awnings are a smart way to communicate your brand, expand your space, and provide protection to your doorway. With different framings, designs, and colours to choose from, you can truly transform your storefront into an attention grabber.

Pylon Signs

These are freestanding structures that be single or double-sided and are usually supported by one or two poles. From their sheer height, they are great for capturing attention from afar. They stand above obstructions and can be illuminated.

Channel Letters

These are custom letters made of metal or plastic, typically illuminated, and used in outdoor signage. They are dynamic, attention-grabbing, and available in all standard fonts allowing your business to create a unique identity.

Outdoor Banners

Banners are one of the most versatile signage solutions. They are available in fabric and vinyl and easy to roll up, store and transport. They help you to achieve high visibility at a lower price point. Banners come in many forms and sizes to meet almost all your outdoor signage needs.

Considerations for Designing Your Storefront Sign

After deciding on the perfect storefront signs for your Toronto business, our experts at The Sign and Graphics Manufaktur can help create the most impactful design. Among the things that you need to consider include:

Brand Consistency

Ensure that your use of colours, fonts, and graphics is consistent across all your signage, so your brand is more recognizable to customers.


In addition to having a legible business name, it is also important to include a tagline or graphic.


Regardless of the type of sign, it should be large enough for easy reading while also considering cost and any size restrictions in your location.

What Type of Storefront Sign is best for my GTA Business?

This depends on your type of business, your location, what you want to achieve and more. Contact The Sign and Graphics Manufaktur today to talk to one of our signage experts who will help you select and design the best storefront signs for your Toronto business.


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